Monday, June 24, 2013

The Lion and the Lamb

I've never been a hunter, never owned a gun, never shot anything in the wild, never saw the pleasure of killing.  In this day and age with a torrent of controversy about gun control on all levels of society, with gun sales going through the roof and with the majority of Americans opposing any major restrictions on gun sales and use, I found it interesting the other day to read that on a farm in Scotland a herd (flock?) of sheep had enclosed in their numbers a lost or orphaned or abandoned fawn.  As the farmer drove his animals along the road the sheep kept the fawn securely protected in the center of the herd.

I've never been robbed at gunpoint, never had my house robbed at gunpoint, never had my wife or daughter molested by a gun-toting hood. I don't know if my attitude toward guns might have changed if any of that had actually happened. What I do know is that "he that taketh up the sword dies by the sword."  The more guns that are bought, the more guns are bought to protect against the guns that were bought. The more violent games kids buy and play the more violent kids do violent things. Ernest Hemingway who hunted in Africa and shot every animal that was found for him to shoot once famously said, "I never met a gun I didn't like."  Shooting ranges are increasingly being used by women and girls. Yes, there are solutions to the world of guns and gun violence although I'm not the one to offer profound sociological analyses of this or anything related to it. I do think whatever laws or restrictions are to be put in place in gun control have to be underwritten by moms and dads and families and churches and schools and Scouts all coming together to take on the gun lobby and to enact local laws and teach children well about violence and how to deal with it from the time they're two years old. 

A society that takes up the sword as a substitute for more rational and needed measures of controlling violence becomes an armed mob. If we measure it by gun sales we are close to living in that society now. It took American society untold generations to free itself from the violence of slavery and the suppression of women's right to vote, perhaps the time is coming when the lion will lie down with the lamb, when "They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters that cover the sea."